Last week, we heard from the Persecuted church and International Christian Response, one of the groups we support by our missions giving.

According the Voice of the Martyrs, Since Jesus laid down His life, 43 million Christians have become martyrs. Right now 200 million people face persecution for believing in Jesus and 60% of those people are children, according to Christians in Crisis International Ministry, a prayer advocacy ministry for persecuted believers.

Because the New Testament was written to persecuted believers, it is filled with examples of how to pray for our brothers and sisters under attack. Here are 5 examples from Ephesians:

Please pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).
Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16).
Please pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17)
Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
Please pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).
To create additional ways to pray from the Bible, take any book from the New Testament (except the gospels). Search for verses with the word “pray.” Then use those verses to create prayer requests, just as in the 5 examples above.

Along with the example prayers in the Bible, there are some practical needs persecuted believers would love your prayers for:

Please pray persecuted believers would have access to a Bible.
Pray they have the courage to remain in their homeland.
Please pray for believers who have been rejected by family and friends.
Pray that God would surround them with a new Christian “family” who loves them and supports them emotionally and physically.
Pray for God to be an advocate for women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith.
Please pray that God would provide persecuted believers with jobs and safe places to live.

Let’s learn more ways to pray for the persecuted church and read news alerts on current crises by visiting the Web sites of ICR or Voice of the Martyrs and other organizations publicizing their plight. Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who are paying extreme challenges for their faith.